Women comprise the majority of Child Life Specialists in the United States. Individuals in this line of work make around $40K annually on average. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Work is enjoyable for Child Life Specialists, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$30,085 - $51,389
(Median)
$30K
$40K
$51K
MEDIAN: $40,441
10%
50%
90%

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$13.21 - $25.34
(Median)
$13
$19
$25
MEDIAN: $19.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$18K$36K$54K
Salary
$30,085 - $51,389  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$29,837 - $51,816  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 109
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$13.21 - $25.34  
   
Overtime
$23.60  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$29,837 - $51,816  
   
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 68
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Job Description for Child Life Specialist (CCLS)

A child life specialist (CCLS) works in a hospital and assesses child patients case-by-case, usually in-patient children and those with serious illnesses. These specialists assess what effects an illness and hospitalization have on pediatric patients and their families, and plans are then made in order to help cope, taking into consideration the personality and medical needs of each individual patient.

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Child Life Specialist (CCLS) Tasks

  • Educate family and staff on techniques.
  • Develop and evaluate treatment plans for children.
  • Help children understand medical care, diagnosis and procedures.
  • Accompany children through medical procedures.
  • Utilize stress reduction techniques via play therapy to facilitate coping with illness or disability.

Child Life Specialist (CCLS) Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Child Life Specialist (CCLS)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Child Life Specialists who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $39K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $44K on average. Child Life Specialists who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $44K. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $61K on average.

Child Life Specialist (CCLS) Reviews

What is it like working as a Child Life Specialist (CCLS)?

Child Life Specialist (CCLS) in Albuquerque:
"Helping children understand how to cope with hospitalization."
Pros: Making a difference in the patient's and families attitude towards treatment and their lives.

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Experience Affects Child Life Specialist (CCLS) Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 50%

Mid-Career
up arrow 10%

Experienced
up arrow 10%

National Average
$40,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 14 votes.

Gender

Female
96 %
Male
4 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
16%
1-4 years
51%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
4%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 87%
dental benefits
Dental: 78%
medical benefits
Vision: 68%
dental benefits
None: 9%
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